“Arrow” recap (3.12): Glades Side Story

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Despite Felicity’s moving speech, Roy still wants to vote. When Diggle goes outside to tell Merlyn the verdict, it’s clear that everyone except for the boy blinded by his love for Thea has accepted Felicity as their leader. Diggle says the day they let the end justify the means is the day they become no better than Malcolm Merlyn.

In Starling City, Thea goes to Merlyn to appeal to his humanity one last time, to beg him to show Brick some mercy, to remind him of the time he traveled through time and space in a greatcoat to save the world a hundred times over. But Merlyn says whatever part of him that was once capable of mercy is gone; that part of him died with his wife.

Flashback Merlyn is in a tizzy in the wake of killing the man he believed killed his wife. He doesn’t feel any closure about her death, he doesn’t feel avenged; he didn’t assuage his anger, he only piled irreparable guilt on top of it. Tiny Tommy wakes up and tells his dad he misses his mommy, and Malcolm says he has to go away for a little while, to a place where he can turn his anger into something useful, where he can learn how to keep his family safe.

Back at the Arrow Cave, the team wonders if they made the right choice, and Diggle assures them that regardless, it was the right thing to do. A lightbulb casts a thoughtful glow over Laurel’s head and she realizes that sure, they need help, but assassins and part-time bad guys aren’t their only resource, and they haven’t tapped into the one most readily available: The people of the Glades themselves.

Laurel goes to her trainer, who isn’t fooled by her Black Canary costume for a second, but agrees to join forces. Roy goes to Sin, who immediately asks about Sara. Roy says they’ll talk about Sara later, but for now, he needs her help.

Arrow 312-9Hi, Sin! Missed you, Sin!

In the truck on the way to the seized precinct, Laurel admits she’s scared, and wonders what makes her crazy, being scared or being part of this. Roy points out that they’re wearing masks, so they’re long past the point of questioning their sanity. Felicity is ready to end this, so Laurel gets ready too.

Brick is leaving his precinct with his body guards when Arsenal and the Black Canary appear, Brick laughs at the sight of them, but Roy and Laurel tell Brick that he failed this city, something I hope they practiced in the Arrow cave because that’s hilarious to imagine.

Brick calls forth his army of goons and in response, Roy and Laurel call out their army of citizens of the Glades. Unfortunately, not a single person snaps or sings; instead, they get right into the rumble.

Laurel, Sin and Roy take turns kicking ass and taking names. Pretty much everyone else besides Brick gets beat to a pulp, including Laurel’s trainer. When Laurel goes to check on him, Sin is confused to see Sara caring about a boy when she was so obviously into girls and the wheels start turning. (Okay it’s possible it was a number of other things, but whatever.) Malcolm shows up and Brick says the whole hooded vigilante thing is getting a little old.

Merlyn chats with Brick while they fight, about Rebecca’s death, and about the gun Brick used. After a little description, Brick does remember killing Merlyn’s wife; she was his first, his initiation into the gang. This just infuriates Merlyn even more and comes very close to killing him when the Arrow appears like the sun through the clouds on a stormy day.

Arrow 312-10 Oh, look, I finally had a reason to screenshot Oliver.

He declares that there has been enough death, but Merlyn says he’s already killed hundreds of people, including his own son, what’s one more? But you know, he knew the exact number of people he’s killed. The exact number of lives lost at his hand. That’s not something an irredeemable soul would do. Oliver tells him to make a different choice this time, for Thea.

Across town, Lance gets an alert on his phone and gets up, running off excitedly like he was off to meet a celebrity. When he gets to the Glades, the Arrow is on a literal pedestal, declaring to the Glades that they did not fail this city. Quite the opposite, in fact. He apologizes for leaving and promises he’ll never leave again. He makes a dramatic exit and everything is as it was.

The cops return to the Glades, and Sin thanks Lance for helping bring them back, something she never thought she’d say.

Arrow 312-11I miss the days when Sara and Sin lived in the clocktower.

Lance recognizes her as a friend of Sara’s, and speaking of Sara, Sin thought he should know that whatever Canary is flying around these days isn’t Sara. For one, she’s a good five inches taller. For another, she fights like she literally started training last week. Also, there’s no way Sara would have been within a few feet of her buddy Sin and not said hi. Lance is like, “Pssh, no, I talked to her!” And Sin is sure this means he already figured out it wasn’t his daughter, overestimating Lance’s powers of perception. (One out of three vigilante disguises seen through does not an observant person make.)

As soon as Merlyn gets through telling Thea he didn’t kill Brick, that maybe this is the start of something new, Oliver comes over. Thea is relieved to see him, just like she was relieved to see the Arrow, and wait a minute…

Arrow 312-12 “I know! The old friend you were talking about is the Arrow! That’s why you showed up on the same day!”

Merlyn and Oliver shake hands and play nice, which confuses Thea but she’s not going to ask questions and jeopardize it. She goes to make tea and Merlyn promises Oliver that he didn’t mean to get Thea targeted; he had only used Thea as a vessel to kill Sara so that Oliver would kill Ra’s al Ghul and take the mark off his head; he didn’t see how that possibly could have gone wrong. Oliver promises he WILL kill Ra’s this time, but he’s going to need to train under someone who trained with the Dragon’s Head. He’s going to need to train with Merlyn.

Flash back to Merlyn visiting the League of Assassins for the first time, where he is almost murdered by a teeny tiny Nyssa al Ghul.

Arrow 312-13

Unsure of how to treat a miniature assassin, he treats her the same way he treats his son and pulls a coin from behind her ear. She says something in another language, and when he asks what she called him she says, “Magician.”

When Oliver finally gets back to the Arrow Cave, his team is waiting for him. Especially Felicity, who hugs him good and tight.

Oliver apologizes for not reaching out while he was sort of dead, and expresses how grateful he is that his team is still intact, and that they saved the Glades without him. Mostly. He says that he’s going to train with Merlyn to defeat Ra’s al Ghul and Felicity. is. FURIOUS. She did not waste a whole big speech about What Would Oliver Do just to have him stroll right in here and go against everything she thought he believed in. When he has nothing useful to say to her, she tells him she’s glad he’s not dead and storms off.

Oliver goes outside to talk to her, despite her reminding him that wanting air usually doesn’t involve having to breathe in weeks old almost-corpse man musk. He tries to apologize, and she asks him what, specifically, he’s apologizing for. For being dead for weeks without any contact whatsoever? For abandoning his principles to live as a lapdog to a wealthy daughter of the revolution? When he was gone, Felicity would sometimes imagine his heroic return. How he would sweep her off her feet, praise her for all the work she did keeping Starling City safe (and actually be Sara).

Felicity reminds Oliver that the last thing he said to her was that he loved her. But you know who else he loved? Thea, a blackout murderer. Also? Sara, dead. (Other people he loved that Felicity didn’t mention: His parents, both dead. Shado, dead. Helena the Huntress, arrested. Tommy, dead.) And you know what? Felicity loved Sara, too. And now they’re all heartbroken. If this is what being loved by Oliver was like, she wants no part of it. She’s done.

Arrow 312-14 Hashtag over it.

What did you think of “Uprising”?

Next week, we get to see the lovely Caity Lotz on our screen again, though the preview already spoiled the surprise of in what respect she will return. (I won’t spoil it in case someone has it seen it, discuss amongst yourselves if you will.)

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